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NIU Loss: Three quick thoughts

Towson v Buffalo Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

1. The defense is a problem, and until that’s fixed we’re going to be an entertaining, athletic, but average team in the MAC.

Buffalo is going to be darn fun to watch, but getting to 20 wins this season is going to be a challenge unless the teams defensive cohesion just isn’t there and Buffalo’s half court offense, while good, is not going to dominate the conference.

We can win our share of games on what we got, really Buffalo should have won yesterday despite the terrible performance over the course of 20 minutes in the middle of the game.

But getting out of the campus round is going to require that buffalo be sharper on the defensive side of the court.

2. Eugene German and NIU have been Kryptonite.

No team in the MAC had won two games in a row against the Bulls in a good long time, well no team but NIU. Now NIU has won three in a row against the Bulls and most of that is Eugene German.

2019-2020 UB L73-72 36 10-17 58.8 5-8 62.5 1-2 50 2 2 0 2 3 4 26
2018-2019 NIU L77-75 24 7-13 53.8 2-5 40 4-6 66.7 10 2 0 1 5 1 20
2017-2018 NIU L90-88 OT 36 10-20 50 2-9 22.2 6-7 85.7 7 1 1 0 3 1 28
2017-2018 UB W95-67 30 6-13 46.2 0-4 0 5-6 83.3 3 0 0 2 2 3 17
2016-2017 UB W65-45 21 4-9 44.4 0-2 0 2-4 50 0 2 0 0 1 3 10

During Nate Oats’ last two seasons,pretty much the best UB has ever had, NIU was a lower tier MAC power. Not Akron, or Ohio, or Toledo. Just a “meh” team. But they owned Buffalo because UB thrives on transition and German is so dang efficient that transition never seems to work.

In his last three games against UB he was shooting over 50% from the floor. Sometimes a player or team just has your number, for UB, regardless of how good we are, that seems to be German and NIU.

3. Too many people are prematurely jumping all over Whitesell.

I cannot believe I already see people jumping on Whitesell...

Well, it’s the internet I can believe it, but it’s still disappointing. It’s his first season and by most comparisons it’s going very about the same as Nate Oats campaign went. A lot of new faces, a lack of chemistry, some pretty mixed performance in the out of conference slate and a week one home loss to start MAC play.

Don’t get me wrong on this one. I’m not getting a “Whitesell rulz” tattoo added just under the Hurley oink I had put on last year. He could very well not be the guy to keep UB at a high level, it’s WAY too early to know.

The players all seem to respond to him, he lost not a single guy in the coaching transition and did a pretty decent job gathering JUCOs given he had a very late start in the season.

And everything I have seen this season, in the way of short comings, are as easily attributed to four new starters, as it is a new head coach. You have to give Whitesell this season to build things up, at this point in 2016 few were saying “heck yea, were gonna win the MAC” as Oats limped into conference play.